Device to prevent mouth breathing

In 1920, Richard Jefferies was granted a patent for "a simple and practical device which will eliminate the habit of breathing through the mouth and at the same time will assist in harmonizing the facial features of the wearer, by more evenly balancing the muscles of expression."

His invention consisted of a piece of adhesive-backed silk placed over the mouth.

I was vaguely aware that mouth breathing is considered a bad habit, but I wasn't aware that "mouth taping" continues to be a common remedy for it.

For instance, one can buy SomniFix Sleep Strips, which look like they're a slightly updated version of Jefferies' invention.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 27, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Health, Inventions, Patents, 1920s, Face and Facial Expressions

Alfred Schmitz’s Casket with Internal Body Supports

A casket designed for upright burial. From Schmitz's 1975 patent:

This invention relates to a casket, and more particularly to a casket having support means therein for supporting the body against shifting longitudinally of the casket.

In the past, caskets and vaults have been buried in a substantially horizontal position. Burial space, especially in urban areas, is becoming more scarce. A solution to such a problem may be found in burying caskets in a substantially vertical position. With such burial techniques, the amount of space required for each burial is substantially reduced.

While previously known caskets could be buried vertically, rather than horizontally, it should be realized that their use might be found distasteful by those who have been close to the party to be buried. An objection to the use of prior caskets may be found in the fact that in prior caskets generally there is nothing to support the body against shifting toward the foot end of the casket when buried in an upright position. Thus, if a conventional casket is tipped upright the body would slump to the foot end of the casket.

Related post: Upright Burial

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 21, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Death, Inventions, Patents, 1970s

Budd-Michelin Rubber-Tire Trains

The Wikipedia page.

Long informative article here (a PDF).

Newspaper source: The Fresno Bee (Fresno, California) 25 May 1932, Wed Page 13

Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 13, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, 1930s, Europe, North America, Trains

Scott Perky’s Bi-Directional Text

Henry Perky invented shredded wheat. His son, Scott, was also an inventor, though not as famous. He invented and patented a bi-directional, symmetrical font which could be read from left-to-right or right-to-left.

Perky's idea was that this would allow one to read a line of text from left to right, and then read the next line right to left, without having to move the eye back to the beginning of the line. This, he claimed, would reduce "brain fag":

The invention consists in certain means of printing alternate lines, whereby the reading can be done from left to right and from right to left in a continuous manner, and the skipping from the end of one line to the opposite end of the next is avoided.

It is hardly necessary to allude to the strain upon the eyes and brain, which results from much reading. To students, researchers and others whose lives are cast among books, any device which promises to facilitate reading in such wise as to lessen fatigue of the optical tract, and consequent headache and brain fag, will appear of unusual importance.

Randy Ludacer of Beach Packaging Design took the time to set the first three lines of Perky's patent in the bi-directional font, so you can experience what it would be like to read it:

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 08, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Inventions, Patents, Languages, 1900s

The Gnathograph

The Gnathograph, or 'dental articulator', was the invention of Los Angeles dental surgeon Beverly McCollum. He was also the founder, in 1926, of the Gnathologic Society.

The name 'Gnathograph' derived from 'gnathology,' this being the study of the jaw and masticatory system, from the greek word 'gnathos' meaning 'jaw'.

"The formidable contraption shown in the mouth of Miss Pearl Nord is a gnathograph, invented by Dr. Beverly B. McCollum of Los Angeles and demonstrated before the chicago Dental Society. It records direction of bite and fit of teeth and accurately guides a dentist in straightening crooked teeth or fitting inlays, crowns, bridges and plates."
image source: Agi Haines

Popular Science - June 1939

The band Femur used the image above from Popular Science as the cover art for their album Red Marks.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 03, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Patents, 1930s, Teeth

Boiled Fish Paste Crust Pizza

In 2014, the Korean patent office granted a patent for "a manufacturing method of boiled fish paste crust pizza."

Doesn't sound appetizing to me, but perhaps boiled fish paste is popular in Korea.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 06, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions, Patents, Junk Food

Captain Yancey and His Fabulous Autogyro

Source of clipping: Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa) 03 Jul 1931, Fri Page 1

Good article here.

The Pitcairn PCA-2 autogyro was developed in 1931 and proved to be a reliable, unique aircraft. The rotor at its top was unpowered and it flew more like a fixed wing aircraft than a helicopter, based on the power from its radial engine on the nose. Once at speed, the rotor spun based on aerodynamic forces alone thus generating lift. It was an amazing sight and attracted crowds wherever it flew. By April of 1931, the autogyro had flown across the United States at the hands of John M. Miller, had landed on the White House lawn (by test pilot Jim Ray), and had soared to a new altitude record of 18,415 feet (this being Amelia Earhart’s record).

Seizing upon the press interest in the design, the Champion Spark Plug company purchased one and painted the sides with their logo and named it “Miss Champion”. It was the perfect flying billboard. After hiring Captain Lewis “Lew” Yancey, a former Naval Lieutenant and USCG officer who was a maritime captain, they directed that he fly the nation on an advertising tour. By the end of 1931, Captain Yancey had flown the autogyro 6,500 miles, transiting 21 states and touching down in 38 cities around the nation. Yet the Champion Spark Plugs company still wanted more attention — and thus they asked him to beat Amelia Earhart’s altitude record as well.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 05, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Inventions, Publicity Stunts, World Records, Advertising, Air Travel and Airlines, 1930s

Banana-Shaped Writing Device

Kia Scudder of San Antonio, Texas was recently granted Patent No. 11077701 for a "banana shaped writing device and method." From the patent:

Generally, the banana shaped writing device is a pencil that resembled a banana wherein the banana is peeled to reveal the lead. The banana shaped writing device allows the users to access additional lead when it gets too short or dull by peeling the banana layers. It enables children and even adults to stand out by using such a unique pencil. The device includes a cushioned inside that provides comfort to users, especially left-handed users. The present invention assists children that are beginning to learn how to write remember correct finger position.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 03, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Inventions, Patents, Bananas

The Reid Flying Submarine

More pix and article here.

It wasn't a high-tech machine, despite its abilities. In the air it was powered by a 65 horsepower four-cylinder Lycoming engine. While underwater a 1-horsepower electric motor provided propulsion. Conversion from aircraft to submarine was a clumsy affair. The pilot first had to remove the propeller, and then cover the engine pylon with a rubber diving bell to keep the engine dry. The pilot used an aqualung to breathe. Maximum depth was roughly 10 to 12 ft (3.5 metres).

From THE SATURDAY EVENING POST for January 1, 1966.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 21, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Disasters, Inventions, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Air Travel and Airlines, 1960s

Madeleine Ravier’s Bicycle for Animals

Humans have invented mechanical devices, such as bicycles, that allow us to move faster by amplifying the power of our limbs. Madeleine Ravier of Paris argued that what works for people should also work for animals. So she invented and, in 1907, patented a "Cycles pour animaux," or 'bicycle for animals'.

Her patent is in French, but the automatic translation is fairly comprehensible. Here's part of it.

Man has understood the vital interest he had in developing the means to go fast, long and far; for this purpose, he enslaved animals to his use, he acquired science, in particular mechanical science, and he used it to employ at his pleasure, or almost, some of the different forms of energy , like heat, electricity, chemical affinity.

Quite recently (less than 50 years ago), understanding the imperfection of his own limbs, he endowed them with mobile mechanisms, he put cycles, devices formed of 2 or 3 wheels between the legs. and of a few light and simple organs, with which he has prodigiously increased the extent of his movements without the help of external energy.

He thus achieved 370 kilometers in 12 hours (cyclist Cadolle), and even 45,764 kilometers (record of cyclist Bouhours), while excellent athletes, on their limbs, did not achieve, at most, at the same time of 12 hours than the already very high distances of 113 kilometers (walker 5o Hibbird) or ikh kilometers (rowell runner)....

What man did for himself he can do it for animals, or at least for some of them; There is a way to increase the efficiency of their limbs by the intercalation, between these limbs and the field of motion, of mechanical devices receiving the reciprocating motion of the limbs, transforming it into continuous rotary motion, and ending in rotating parts; and the result obtained can be used to make animals move man faster and farther than has hitherto been done by using them.

Ravier imagined making bicycles for all kinds of animals including "mules, donkeys, elephants, camels, dromedaries, etc.". But she started with a bicycle for horses, as shown below.

I have no idea if she ever built and tested one of these horse bicycles. The language barrier makes researching this a challenge.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Aug 08, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, Inventions, Patents, 1900s

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